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A low-cost, community-based, problem-solving approach to improve maternal and neonatal health lowered neonatal deaths after 3 years, according to a cluster-randomized controlled trial in northern Vietnam (Persson LA et al. PLoS Med. 2013;10:e1001445).
From 2008 to 2011, investigators from Sweden and Vietnam studied 90 communes in northeast Vietnam. Forty-four of these communes were allocated to the intervention group, while the other 46 served as controls. In the intervention communes, laywomen facilitated monthly meetings of maternal and newborn health groups, consisting of local health care staff and politicians, to identify and address perinatal health problems and to implement actions to address them.
Friedrich MJ. Community-Based Intervention Lowers Neonatal Mortality in Vietnam. JAMA. 2013;310(3):250. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.17093